Captain's Log: Operation Road Trip - The Final Leg

You can read more about our British Columbia - Anaheim Road Trip here:

Day One
Day Two
Day Three
Day Four
Day Five
Day Six
Day Seven
Day Eight

We woke up on Day Nine of our epic road trip to the sound of the ocean. Shawn and I were introduced to Bandon, Oregon by friends years ago and eating chocolate cake on Bandon Beach for breakfast on my 27th birthday is one of my favourite memories. I was eager to go back and this trip provided the perfect opportunity.

I love the sea. Not tropical waters, not swimming waters; I do not mix well with the ocean (sharks!). But give me a seascape with crashing waves and salty air and I'm in heaven. There's something about the expanse and shushing of the water that I find soothing. My mind does very well when I'm on an empty beach staring at the sea.

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We headed to the beach as soon as we finished eating breakfast and arrived just before high tide. The rain had stopped during the night and the sun was shining but the beach was deserted. I wore Poppy against my chest in the carrier and Grady ran up and down the beach, throwing rocks in the ocean, and pretending the sand dunes were his castle. I could not have imagined a more perfect morning. We briefly considered staying in Bandon another night so we could enjoy the beach all day but our beds at home were calling our name. We packed up the car, hit the coffee drive through, and started our long journey home.

It was the right decision. We weren't even an hour into our trip when Poppy started getting sick. In the butt region. And continued to be sick all 900km home. At one point we considered throwing out her car seat and starting over. It was unpleasant to say the least. 

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We had toyed with the idea of staying in Portland but with Poppy's tummy trouble and the clear weather, we decided to press on. We had next to no delay going through Seattle and there was no line up at the border. It was a long day of driving but I'm so glad we did it rather than dealing with unpacking in Portland, packing up again, hitting Seattle during the day, and attempting to cross the border with a lineup and two angry kids.

By the time we pulled into our driveway, we'd driven a total of 4,600km in nine days with a five-year old and 8-month old. It was long, exhausting, and amazing. We made some priceless family memories and I'm forever grateful to Shawn for being my partner on this adventure we're on.

Captain's Log: Operation Road Trip - Day Eight

Grady had a difficult time falling asleep last night so he wasn't up bright and early this morning so I left him and Shawn in the hotel room and took Poppy to meet friends who were in the city for an appointment. I met Emily through blogging about a million years ago (or maybe 9 or 10?) and she quickly became one of my people. She and her husband were kind enough to come to (geographically-challenged) me so we could have a quick visit. It was an excellent way to start the day. 

After tea with Emily and Dan, I collected Shawn and Grady and we grabbed breakfast and visited the sea lions at Pier 39. Grady and I could have stayed there all day but Poppy was getting chilled in the wind and we needed to hit the road.

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Our not-really-planned plan was to drive up the coast from San Francisco to southern Oregon. We'd drive through the redwoods (trees are my happy place) and gawk at the gorgeous views along the coastal highway. The reality was much less breezy. There's been a lot of heavy rain in the area recently and sections of the 101 were closed due to mudslides and flooding, or were down to one lane alternating traffic because the concrete had, you know, collapsed. It was not a relaxing drive is what I'm saying. Because of the detours and traffic, by the time we hit the beautiful scenic portion of the drive, it was too dark to see anything. We did, however, manage to make it to the redwoods before dark and I got to spend some time loving the trees. 

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Tomorrow we point ourselves toward home. We debated breaking up the day into two so we wouldn't spend all day driving but we're all desperate to sleep in our own beds so I think we're going to attempt a 900km day tomorrow. Wish us luck!

Captain's Log: Operation Road Trip - Day Seven

We left Anaheim this morning. It was tough to say goodbye to our (gorgeous, spacious) hotel room but the blue skies and sunshine put us in good spirits. We loaded up on coffee and hit the I-5 at 9:45. We thought we'd have a pretty chill day. It was our "wing it" day. Our "plan nothing, see where the wind takes us" day. Sometimes keeping scheduling to a minimum results in the best memories. And sometimes it results in you hitting the outskirts of San Francisco at 5pm on a work day and sitting in rush-hour traffic with a constipated, teething, screamy baby for the 90 minutes it takes you to drive the 20 miles to your hotel where they charge you FIFTY AMERICAN DOLLARS to park your vehicle for less than 24 hours. 

I let the concierge think he was breaking into the closed kitchen to get orange juice for Grady and then I went upstairs and mixed that orange juice with vodka is what I'm saying.  

Starting our trip home with an accidental 10-hour driving day (when we were expecting a 7-hour day) does not bode well for our sanity. We need to find an open field for Grady to run in tomorrow before he goes absolutely batty. 

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Captain's Log: Operation Road Trip - Day Six

Shawn and Grady spent the day doing Disney again today so Poppy and I had a gal's day. We started the day brunching with the ladies (of the Internet - bloggers and Twitterers I've known and loved online for years) and then shopped and then met an old friend for lunch (puréed broccoli, so SoCal).

I met Kelly when I was a kid and we were on the same baseball team. We stayed friends (and played baseball) until life took us in different directions in our twenties and Facebook became our mode of communication. I was always a little in awe of her. She's beautiful in a way that looks effortless. She always carried herself with this cool confidence, like she literally did not care if you liked her or not. Take her or leave her, she wasn't bothered by it. It was an impressive character trait in a teenager, especially when I was so wracked with self-doubt and insecurity. It was so nice to reconnect and spend some time with someone who knew me so long ago. Seeing her with her baby was awesome and ridiculous. We used to get drunk and stupid together and now we have babies? What is this life?

The boys came back from the park exhausted but not too tired for a swim. We were the only ones in the pool and the moon shone brightly in the clear sky. It was an excellent way to end our time in Anaheim. In the morning we hit the road again.  

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